News / Africa

Pro-Ouattara Fighters Capture Ivorian Capital, Gbagbo Delays Address

Members of Pro-Ouattara forces in Duekoue, western Ivory Coast, March 29, 2011
Members of Pro-Ouattara forces in Duekoue, western Ivory Coast, March 29, 2011

Multimedia

Fighters backing the internationally-recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential election have taken control of the capital. The country's incumbent president has postponed a nationwide address as his army tries to recruit more troops.

Fighters supporting Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized president, Alassane Ouattara, have captured the political capital Yamoussoukro and are making gains in the southern port of San Pedro.

They are driving back government troops still loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo after a week of fighting near the Liberian border. Gbagbo's chief of staff General Philippe Mangou says the army is looking to recruit more fighters to defend Ivorian sovereignty.

As months of failed mediation to resolve this political crisis erupt into open combat, Gbagbo is calling for a cease-fire. Ouattara says all peaceful routes for his rival to admit electoral defeat have been exhausted.

Watch a related report by Mariama Diallo



Earlier this week, Ouattara rejected the African Union's choice of a mediator, saying former Cape Verde foreign minister Jose Brito is too close to Gbagbo. Gbagbo's government accepted the choice and said it plans to take part in talks in Ethiopia next week.

Affoussy Bamba is a spokeswoman for the Force Nouvelles party which backs Ouattara.

Bamba says Gbagbo has had many opportunities for discussion, but he has never respected the conclusions of that mediation. She told VOA's French to Africa service that the Ouattara government sees no point in negotiating again with the African Union when Gbagbo did not respect the last mediation.

Gbagbo was scheduled to address the nation late Wednesday, but his spokesman appeared on national television instead.

Gbagbo spokesman Ahoua Don Mello says the president is following the situation in the country closely and has decided to delay his address to the nation. State-run television's evening news then closed with a patriotic "Ode to Ivory Coast" after making no mention of the fall of Yamoussoukro.

While he has lost control of the political capital, Gbagbo and his allies continue to run most of the commercial capital Abidjan, where Gbagbo supporters are increasingly targeting United Nations peacekeepers because they say those troops are helping pro-Ouattara fighters.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs